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Parliamentary questions
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20 May 2015
Question for written answer E-008120-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Mario Borghezio (NI)

 Subject:  The destruction of art works by Isis and the online trading of artefacts
 Answer in writing 

The UN Security Council recently met behind closed doors with the secretary general of Interpol and the head of Unesco. The meeting was called to discuss the theft of works of art by Isis terrorists: it is estimated that at least 2 700 artistic and archaeological artefacts have been pillaged by Isis jihadists.

Analysis of video footage has revealed that in some cases the destruction of archaeological sites was merely staged. Small pieces of bas-reliefs, statues, jewellery, sarcophagi and funerary items are thus being secured with the main aim of selling them on line: this constitutes a simpler, less regulated, more profitable and more secure way for the terrorists to obtain millions of euros for the financing of their activities. The trade route for these items is suspected to run from Syria to Lebanon, on to Turkey and thence to Europe.

Alongside the Resolution adopted by the European Parliament in April 2015, what measures does the Commission intend taking to stop the online buying and selling of works of art that are part of the cultural and historical heritage of the Mediterranean and indeed of the entire world (e.g. from the sites of Nimrud, Khorsabad, Hatra and Mosul)? What will the Commission do to prevent Isis from financing its activities in this way?

Original language of question: IT 
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